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WHY NIGERIA MUST GET IT RIGHT AS THE COMPASS OF AFRICA

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The 2001 Kuru Declaration embodies the vision of the Nigerian Government as: building a truly great African democratic country, politically united, integrated and stable, economically prosperous, socially organized, with equal opportunities for all, and responsibility from all, to become the catalyst of (African) Renaissance, and making adequate all-embracing contributions sub-regionally, regionally and globally”. Furthermore, ‘’government is working strenuously to “create a Nigeria that Nigerians will be proud to belong to and grateful to inhabit; a Nigeria that rewards hard work protects its people and their property and offer its children better prospects than those they may be tempted to seek in Europe or the United-States. ‘’All citizens, regardless of gender, race, religion or politics, should feel that they have a stake in Nigeria’s future and that their loyalty and diligence will be rewarded.  ‘’GETTING IT RIGHT’’ refers to Nigeria taking her proper place as the leading nation in Africa. The risks involved in failure to ‘’get it right’’ are better imagined than enumerated. For instance, I never knew the implication of a balkanized Nigeria until a few years ago when I listened to a great Nigerian, Dr. Christopher Kolade’s remarks at the University of Buckingham. Dr. Kolade asserted that a fragmented Nigeria means a nation with less influence in global politics.  Nigeria occupies a sensitive and position of undisputed leadership in the African continent. While leading Africa to develop, it is evident that Nigeria, the most populous black nation has a great role to play in leading the African continent to political and socio-economic advancement. We do bear it in mind that leaders and followers might not get it right if they fail to reflect on the past and present, and project into the future. It is important to delve into the past with a view to understanding in practical terms, why certain developments occurred, how they occurred, how these incidents were handled and how they could be improved upon. ‘’Getting it right’’ translates into playing less emphasis on distracting issues like ethnicity, religion, and other issues that divide rather than unite Nigerians, as well as politics of bitterness that has called to question the sincerity of the elite and political groups. RESOURCES:  Nigeria is the engine of the economy of West Africa, and its economy constitutes 76 percent of the economy of ECOWAS. The country holds 30 percent of the economy of sub-Saharan Africa and has 21 percent of the…

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